Getting better at team communication

April 29, 2018

Communication is frequently mentioned as one of the fundamental skills of a good software developer, but finding simple and actionable ways to get better is hard.

A couple of months ago I came to the realization that I needed to improve my communication skills, which was exacerbated by the fact that I work in a remote team. This is my intent to write down what worked for me over the last six months; the conclusions I came to after making an active effort to change my communication habits. Please take them with a grain of salt, it is a work in progress and it's not backed with any more data than my own—probably very biased—experience.

For the sake of organizing things, I've grouped my conclusions into three categories: the other, the group and the self.

The other

"The other" alludes to 1:1 communication with other teammates, it's partially different from group communications because the dynamics and the constraints are different, but almost everything in this section can be extrapolated to the group section.

The group

"The group" alludes to 1:many communication, this includes chat groups, email threads with several recipients, pull requests, issue trackers, etc.

The self

While the previous two sections are clearly self-actionable, I think there's room for a third group: "the self", here are some points that make your personal communication skills that are worth paying attention:

Final words

Communication is a complex and difficult topic, I plan to expand and revisit this list in the future. If you have any tips or resources, please ping me at @roperzh!